— The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) is demanding that Zimbabweans are given at least two months to debate the draft constitution produced by the parliamentary select committee (COPAC) or risk court action.
NCA chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, told a news conference in the capital Tuesday that his organization wants the unity government to give Zimbabweans enough time to debate the content of the draft constitution so that people can vote wisely during the referendum.
The NCA said the Public Order and Security Act, which restricts people from gathering without permission from authorities, should be suspended for the duration of the constitutional campaign.
Madhuku threatened to take the unity government to court if his organization's demands are not met.
Madhuku said the NCA will campaign for a "no" vote because it is against the constitution-making process, which he said was “not people driven”.
The constitutional body says there is nothing positive in the entire draft charter, adding that the proposed governing charter gives more powers to the president.
Madhuku said it is better for Zimbabweans to go for elections under the current constitution than to adopt the COPAC draft.
Madhuku said his organization will work with other civic society organizations including the working class and students to campaign for a “no” vote.
He told reporters that the “no” vote campaign would be door-to-door because his organization does not have money to mount a fully-fledged campaign.
Report Filed By Thomas Chiripasi
The NCA made it clear right from the beginning of the constitutional revision process that it will push for a no vote because it did not want the program to be driven by politicians.
But the three parties in the unity government say they will campaign for the adoption of the draft to pave way for fresh elections that are expected to be held sometime this year.